Wednesday, May 27, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday ~ Morris Goldstein's Scar

In my recent blog post where I shared the Certificate of Naturalization for my husband's grandfather, Morris Goldstein, the physical description of him includes the fact that he has a "scar on middle of forehead."

Originally shared August 2012

When I zoom in, I can see the scar on his forehead:

Morris Goldstein about 1950

The story is that, when he was a boy, in Romania, he was playing ball with a friend, and a bottle was thrown at him, which hit him in the head and cut him, leaving this scar.

Now that I know the story, and see the scar, I do see it in many of the photographs I have of him.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Certificate of Citizenship for Morris Goldstein

In April, when we visited my parents-in-law for Passover, my mother-in-law remembered that she had found something that she wanted me to have: her father's certificate of citizenship!

It turns out that this is a replacement for one that must have been "lost, mutilated, or destroyed."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Great-Grandparents Aaron and Sarah Handler

I have shared a few tidbits from the Mishpacha Tape Helen and Esther 1988 at YouTube since a cousin reached out to me last November:

Connecting With A Handler Cousin - Blog as Cousin Bait
Great-Grandmother Sarah or Sally Handler
Rose Handler - An Older Sister
Cousin and Athlete Art Handler
More Information on Bubbie Lena Handler

This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Since I have been writing about my husband's great-grandmother, Sally Handler (see Handler Family-Another Generation Back), I thought I'd mention a bit more about what Aunt Helen and Aunt Esther had to say about her and her husband, Aaron Handler.

Esther and Helen
At just before 19 minutes into the Mishpacha Tape, Helen starts talking about her grandparents, Aaron Handler and Sarah Handler.

I already shared what they (mostly Helen) remembered about Aaron here.

After Helen describes what she remembers about the older half brothers of their mother, she is asked about Aaron's second wife, their grandmother. After some confusion about which grandma they're referring to (the cousin's or Helen's and Esther's), Helen responds to the question by stating: "He [Aaron] had a niece whose name was Sarah." [23:32] Sarah was the child of Aaron's brother, whose name Helen and Esther do not know. They also don't know anything about Sarah's mother.

The only siblings they know of in that generation are Aaron and Sarah's (unnamed) father. Sarah's father, an extremely devout Jew, felt that it was a mitzvah to provide a wife for his brother, who had lost his first wife, to ensure that his brother would have more children. Sarah had been "going with" a butcher's son at the time, but he wasn't religious enough in the eyes of her family, so she wasn't permitted to marry him.

So Sarah, 20 or 21 at the time according to Helen, married a much older man, her uncle Aaron. Click here to see the point in the film where Helen describes her mother, Regina (Handler) Solomon, remembering her father as an "old, old man, with a long white beard." Regina was four years old when her father, Aaron, died. I have two different sources for Regina's birth showing that she was born on February 20, in 1891 or 1892, placing Aaron's death in the mid-1890s.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Handler Family ~ Another Generation Back

I recently shared my "aha" moment about my father-in-law's Hebrew name being Tzvi Hersch (צבי הרש) which often becomes Harry in America.

My father-in-law's paternal grandmother was Sally Handler. (Also known as Roza, Rozalia, and Szali, as I shared at Different Names-Same Person.) I shared some information about her at Mystery Monday - Finding a Jewish Great-Grandmother, where I noted that JewishGen's Online Burial Registry (JOWBR) has an entry for Sally Handler:


She is Chaya Sara bat [daughter of] Zvi.

In Great-Grandmother Handler Married Twice, I shared a 1911 marriage record for Rosalie Hendler [sic] and Samuel Goodman where her parents are listed as Harry Hendler [sic] and Anna Stern.

I therefore theorize that this Handler line is:

Harry Handler = Anna Stern
|
Sally Handler
|
Josef Handler
|
Harry Handler
|
My husband

And the awkward thing about this line is that Sally Handler married her father's brother, Aaron Handler who was about 20 years her senior and a widower with children.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Harry is Tzvi Hersch

My husband's parents got married in 1952. I scanned their ketubah (Jewish marriage contract) last summer. The digital image has been sitting in a folder waiting to be filed.

I took a look at it today and realized that their Hebrew names are on it. The following image is a small part of the entire ketubah:


However, I can't read Hebrew script, so I uploaded this section of the image to the Tracing the Tribe Facebook group (everyone is SO helpful there) and almost immediately received the following response to my translation request:

Tzvi Hersch son of Yosef the Levite. Bride is Ita daughter of Moshe.

(I already knew that Chana Ita is my mother-in-law's full Hebrew name.)

JewishGen has a Given Names Database, which I have previously explored. I returned to this search page today to see what it might tell me about the name Tzvi Hersch.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Great Uncle David Levitt of Philadelphia

My husband's great-grandfather, Max Levitt (1857-1935), married twice. I believe the name of his first wife was Adele Willer. (Hadel Willer on her daughter Rebecca's NYC marriage record.) There are two granddaughters who were named Adele, daughters of their son David Levitt and their daughter Rebecca (Levitt) Reisner. It is thought that Adele died either on the boat coming over to America, or before the family left Galicia for America. Max's second wife was Golda (also known as Gussie) Segal, from whom my husband is descended.

This can get confusing so I just set up a very simple tree for Max and his first wife, Adele, and their two children I know who had children: David and Rebecca.


David had three daughters with his first wife, and one daughter with his second wife.

Rebecca married Jacob Reisner and had seven children with him. I have blogged about this family before. See Jacob's and Rebecca's marriage license. See Jacob Reisner's obituary. See their tombstone.

I recently had contact from someone whose mother is second cousin to my husband, descended from David Levitt and his second wife, whom I found as Yetta Cornfield (Philadelphia Marriage Index), though he knows her as Henrietta. His grandmother is recently-deceased Shirley Mae Levitt in the tree above.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finding New Jersey County Naturalization Records

My mother-in-law's family arrived in Woodbine, New Jersey, soon after its founding in 1891. I have written about the naturalization of her father, Max Levitt, and her great-grandfather, Simche Siegel, both in Cape May County, New Jersey.

An ongoing project is to clean up my source citations in Family Tree Maker. I had found another naturalization record, for Simche's son-in-law, Wolff (or William) Siegel, at FamilySearch.org in the New Jersey, Cape May County, New Jersey, County Naturalization Records, 1749-1986 and wanted to make sure my source citations were consistent for these three. I then realized that I had received Simche Siegel's records from a Seigle/Segal cousin, and had used a different (not very complete) citation. In order to make these citations consistent, I explored FamilySearch's Cape May County Naturalizations again, looking for Simche.